Attachment Parenting a Preteen - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-20-2007, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I am curious how you can attachment parent a preteen? Now, that my daughter is 12 and slowly getting more interested in her friends and boys I just would like some ideas on how I can continue a close relationship with her during these upcoming up and down years of growing up? What are some ways that you can do attachment parenting with a teen?

Thank you,

Kristy
Mom to Rebecca (12) and David (28 months)
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#2 of 14 Old 02-20-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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My 12 going on 13 year old daughter still crawls into my bed and falls asleep there. I do feel connected to my girlie as well as my oldest who is 17. I make sure they know they can come to me, we're in the habit of "I love you" everyday and hugs as well as a pat on the arm or whatever. Also playing games and one on one time helps too, I think. AH and lots of laughs too. Listen more than talk ... this is a hard lesson to learn! Commiserate and then offer advice ... another hard one for me at least! And lots of car talk, meals together whenever possible, positive spins on things ...

gee I guess this just sounds like the stuff that's always said to do. Well, it's helped us
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#3 of 14 Old 02-20-2007, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your ideas. These sound great. Yes, isn't the family bed just great. My daughter just came into our bed this morning before school to snuggle with my husband and I and 28 month old. It was so nice to do that before the busy morning got started. Thanks for sharing with me.

Kristy
Mom to Rebecca (12) and David (28 months)
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#4 of 14 Old 02-20-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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Mine were out of the family bed way too soon, but I enjoyed bringing homeschooled ds breakfast in bed every morning and waking up slow and easy with reading time together. When he declared that he was "too old" for reading books aloud, I just started letting him sleep in a bit longer and reading his History lessons for him so he could takle his time waking up.

I tried to make my home welcoming to his friends so that they would want to come here instead of having him go there. I do wish i had been more involved in finding out who these people were and steering him towards positive influences and away from negative ones.

The car talks seemed to be a big thing for my son, such a big thing that I can hardly stand to drive my car any more because it reminds me so much of him. My daughter seemed to open up more on walks, though, so we usually walk places together. She gave up reading aloud much earlier than he did, but we still recommend books to each other and I devour her college textbooks when she's done with them.

I'm reading Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld right now and highly recommend that you beg, borrow or steal a copy. I think that a lot of what I was told was "normal and unavoidable" is neither and I wish that I'd had more support to follow my heart when my kids were still preteens.

Friends and boys may be entering the picture, but a 12 year old still needs her mother very much.
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#5 of 14 Old 02-20-2007, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your reply. Your wise wisdom and words speak volumes to me. I will definitely try to get a hold of the book you are talking about. Thank you so much for telling me about it. It is so nice to have the experience of other moms on here that have BTDT. It means a lot to me to hear what you have been through with your children and are still going through with them.

Happy Attachment Parenting to you and your children! Thanks again for your encouragment.

Kristy
Mom to Rebecca (12) and David (28 months)
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#6 of 14 Old 02-20-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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[QUOTE=noordinaryspider;7355336]

I'm reading Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld right now and highly recommend that you beg, borrow or steal a copy. I think that a lot of what I was told was "normal and unavoidable" is neither and I wish that I'd had more support to follow my heart when my kids were still preteens.

QUOTE]

I've heard that was a wonderful book.

It's odd that I was told by many from close friends to people standing in line at the grocery that when kids hit a certain age there are some things they do, some ways they act that are normal or unavoidable. I held my breath waiting for my eldest to fill those normal and unavoidable shoes ... never really happened. Whew!

I hope it is the same when his younger sibs get into teenhood ... not smooth sailing (of course!) but not absolutely horrible. Each teen raising experience will be slightly different given the different temperments and such however, that doesn't mean it has to be an alienating horrid one for the fam, right?
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#7 of 14 Old 02-21-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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I have a dd who is 12 and I second the long talks and cosleeping when they want. DD still crawls in bed and sleeps snuggled up next to mommy once or twice a week. I am always struggling with how to get mine to talk to me. She is so private about everything and I do not know what to do. i talk to her about sex, drugs, boys, her period, but she just will not open up to me. I try to remind her that she can come to me with anything, but she never needs to. Maybe it is just that, she does't have a problem to come to me with, but I would like to know something more. I feel like we are very close and spend time talking everyday, but she is still at that age where I am not cool no matter what I do. Parenting gets harder as they grow-up it seems.
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#8 of 14 Old 02-21-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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My dd was a very prickly 11 yr old, and frankly, unpleasant to be around for a quite a few months. I realized that I was not spending really any positive time with her for a while, because she was sarcastic and nasty and I just didn't want to deal with that all the time. I had to make an effort to spend positive time with her. First, I picked things I knew she'd want to do - renting movies together (chick flick nights!) or going shopping for something, and then once we'd had some pleasant times together again, I started making an effort to keep her connected in other ways too, like cooking together, working on craft projects together, doing household tasks together. Once I made an effort to enjoy some time with her, she was more willing to do things with me, and our relationship slowly improved back to the closeness we had when she was a younger child. Now, we are much closer again, and able to talk all the time. I've found making an effort not to respond negatively when she tells me something keeps her talking more, too. So she'll tell me she didn't get a homework assignment done or something, and I don't get angry, just ask her how she's going to make it up, and ask if she needs any help from us, or whatever. She's much more likely to be open with us when we don't flip out about things.
My oldest ds was never as prickly as she was - he was easy to stay connected to because he obviously wanted me around. We used to jog together (he ended up running cross country in high school and I'd always been a runner) starting when he was 9 or 10, and I found he would tell me anything while we were running. He is very musical, playing several instruments and we played in a church band together for a while, which was a good connection as well. He always wanted me at his school events, would always volunteer me if a parent was needed to chaperone or something, and obviously wanted me. It was of course much easier to feel connected with him than it would have been if he did the more typical withdrawal from parents thing that my dd has done. He also was always very physically affectionate, liking to be hugged and touched. He still, away at college, ends every phone call or IM conversation by telling me he loves me.
My 12 yr old dd is not a very snuggly person - she never was as an infant, and she still is not the type to even come for a hug, let alone co-sleep anymore. Because she is not naturally very snuggly, I think it's important to make an effort to hug her, tell her I love her, and have some physical contact. I can tell she wants me to still express affection that way, but perhaps she thinks she's too old or something. She always seems pleased about some physical affection, though. I remember being her age and wishing my mom would do more with me, but somehow I never asked her to, and I think my dd is like that, too - only I'm not waiting for her to tell me she wants me around, I'm just assuming she does and participating in her life, if that makes sense.
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#9 of 14 Old 02-22-2007, 03:52 AM
 
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Cruella Deville! What a GREAT name!

I also recommend Hold on to Your Kids. It has a lot to say about the teen years and I confess I have been tempted to send chapters to people anonymously.
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#10 of 14 Old 02-22-2007, 04:32 AM
 
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Hi.. I just joined this board. Our son is 13.. we homeschool him and try to AP as long as possible. We have a two bedroom apartment. 1 room for my mother-in-law, one room for (me & hubby) & (our son) we have two queen size beds in our room. One for us, one for him. It works for us.

We are a very open family and we talk about everything under the sun. He is an only child as of now.. I have PCOS and we have experienced 2ndary Infertility for 10 years now ... so as of now he is an only child.

I think you can AP parent all thier years.. it's all how you parent I guess.

Namasté,
Meg
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#11 of 14 Old 02-23-2007, 08:31 AM
 
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I was going to suggest homeschooling if you don't do that already, going on girl outings with her, co-sleeping or having little mom/daughter sleep togethers from time to time to reconnect that way, going out to eat alone with no men allowed, things like that.

__________________________________
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19 yr old
12 yr old
5 yr old
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#12 of 14 Old 02-26-2007, 02:51 AM
 
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: The girl outings is a great idea. My 16-year-old daughter and I are very close. We do things like go shopping together, go to movies or concerts together or just watch TV or listen to music together. I've actually found out that I like a lot of the music she listens to, and she likes some of the oldies that were around when I was her age. We go to movies which sound interesting to both of us. I've never really been a big fan of shopping, but she loves it, so we plan a shopping trip together regularly. I ask her for advice on how things look on me and she does the same.

Together time is great for both of us. I think one of the best things you can do with a teen is to ask for their advice occasionally, as well as passing your own advice on to them. It shows that you value their opinions and that you respect them as people.
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#13 of 14 Old 03-03-2007, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjen View Post
My dd was a very prickly 11 yr old, and frankly, unpleasant to be around for a quite a few months. I realized that I was not spending really any positive time with her for a while, because she was sarcastic and nasty and I just didn't want to deal with that all the time. I had to make an effort to spend positive time with her. First, I picked things I knew she'd want to do - renting movies together (chick flick nights!) or going shopping for something, and then once we'd had some pleasant times together again, I started making an effort to keep her connected in other ways too, like cooking together, working on craft projects together, doing household tasks together. Once I made an effort to enjoy some time with her, she was more willing to do things with me, and our relationship slowly improved back to the closeness we had when she was a younger child. Now, we are much closer again, and able to talk all the time. I've found making an effort not to respond negatively when she tells me something keeps her talking more, too. So she'll tell me she didn't get a homework assignment done or something, and I don't get angry, just ask her how she's going to make it up, and ask if she needs any help from us, or whatever. She's much more likely to be open with us when we don't flip out about things.
This sounds exactly like my DS. We had a very rough patch, but we've gotten out of it mainly through the same stuff Doctorjen talked about. I find AP'ing a preteen much harder than AP'ing a toddler or infant. It kind of snuck up on me (also, I had DS2 when DS1 was 7, so I was kind of in baby-mode again) and it took me while to shift gears. I think maintaining that bond with older kids is different. DS2 (2.5yo) might be more physically needy, but DS1 is much more challenging at this point. He pushes me to grow and that's a wonderful thing
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#14 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 03:39 PM
 
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Preteens want to have a relationship with their parents

When our kids enter those preteen/tween/middle school years, because of the typical changes in their behavior it seems like they don't want to be with us, when the truth is, they really do not only need us, but still really do want to be with us and talk to us, etc. I'm very excited about a new book we're reading that I think will answer your question and any other about your preteen that you might have, so I have to share. It's called "MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don't Tell You," by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, and deepening and strengthening a positive, loving relationship. It's so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit from it. I highly recommend it!
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